Friday, July 27, 2007

To The Face...

I'm starting a new weekly column (if it can even be called that) today that I'll be running every Thursday or Friday until further notice. It's a really lame personal take-off on the Cheers & Jeers type columns which hand out praise and disdain to many of the items currently residing in our collective pop culture conscious. I'm not promising that this will be anything groundbreaking, or even really worth the effort it will take to read, but it should allow me to get some posts up that cover some of the random items floating through my head without making my consistently hung over brain work too hard at the end of a typically grueling (bullshit) work week. People, Events, etc. will receive one of two items directly to the face: A nice strong punch or a cool refreshing shot of liquor. I'm a total badass so I enjoy both of these in equal measure but since most of you jerks are total pussies we're going to classify the punch as a negative and the liquor as a positive. Because, honestly, is there any situation where a shot (or shots) of liquor could be construed as anything other than an overwhlemingly positive experience?
Since this is the is the first go 'round, let's just get right to it.

Punch: Mike Vick. I know taking a stand against dogfighting is a real chance to take in America these days but, what can I say? I like to live on the edge. I hope this asshole goes to jail and I hope his cell has it's own rape stand.

Shot: Pit Bulls. I own one and he's fucking tits (note: His Dad, owned by my good friend, is pretty effin' sweet too). He climbs trees, sleeps in my bed and has been known to drink alcohol straight from a stranger's cup when the mood strikes him. You won't find a more loyal, loving breed of dog out there. I'd love to see somebody crop Mike Vick's ears as part of his punishment.
Punch: Naked Old Dudes. There is a group of old guys who have full conversations whilst naked in my gym locker room. They do this for huge blocks of time and it's really disgusting. Listen fellas, I don't ever want to see naked cock and balls. Your droopy, wrinkly version of these make me physically fucking ill everytime I go work out. Throw a towel on for pete's sake.

Shot: Vacation. Mine got cancelled this weekend but I'm already working on plans to resurrect it in the coming weeks. There's just something fun about getting drunk in new and unfamiliar locations that makes me happy. And, by happy, I mean fully erect.
Punch: Big Sunglasses on girls. They're like huge plastic masks at this point. These things are so big that they cover over half of a girls face sometimes. You can't even get an accurate measure of whether a girl is good looking or not with these on. And that, my friends, is bullshit.
Shot: Shark Week. Yep, its here. Well, for you people its here. I live every week like it's Shark Week.
Punch: Otis Smith. I realize that you're a little strapped for cash at the moment, what with giving out two separate max deals in the last few weeks but could you even try and score a bargain or two in the free agent market? Hell, Houston got Luis Scola for nothing from San Antonio and guys like Juan Carlos Navarro and Mickael Pietrus are still available for less than the mid-level exception (with the trade of draft pick in Navarro's case). Don't you want to at least attempt to add some depth to your roster? I mean, maybe just send out a feeler or two? I'd have even been happy with picking up Brandon Bass to give the bench a little interior scoring. Of course, he signed with Dallas where he'll never, ever play so I can see why you didn't pursue him. I mean, if he's can't play over Dirk then he's certainly not going to take minutes away from Marcin Gortat.

Shot: Caron Butler. First we learned about his straw chewing fetish, then he shows up at some kids birthday party. Now, he's gonna buy himself a few Burger King's. This guy is awesome. If I was dying from some inoperable disease (My doctor says herpes doesn't count...dick) my wish would be to hang out with the Wizards on a 6 or 7 game Western Conference road trip.
Shot: August. You hear that? That's the combined sounds of rat bastard kids going back to school and two-a-days kicking off on college campuses and NFL Training Camps all across our great country. In the words of an immortal SEC fan, "Fuck, fuckin yeah!"

Punch: Staph Infections. What a bunch of bullshit. I contracted one last week and I had to cancel a trip to DC, stop playing basketball and haven't had more than 3 beers in a single night in over a week and half. Oh yeah, I've also had to pay a shit ton of money in medical bills and had part of forearm removed. Remind to kick Scott Staph's ass next time I run into him. What's that? It's Scott Stapp. Whatever, I'll kick his ass anyway.

Shot: NCAA '08. The one and only thing that kept me sane while I recovered from my staph infection. I may have become a cutter if this game had been released a week later just to break up the boredom. This maybe the greatest football video game ever. I mean,wow. The implementation of the spead option (the new man-in motion feature completely changes the game) of this game is, well, amazing. It also doesn't hurt my opinion of the game that Percy Harvin is peel your skin off fast and Tim Tebow runs through linebackers like Lindsay Lohan runs through cock (That is to say, face first). Has anybody ever married a video game? No? Well, that's just silly.

Shot: Me. Actually, that should read "Shots". I'm off antibiotics and I plan to drink myself into the form of a baby this evening. A baby who curses, smashes tail lights, and pisses on the neighbor's cat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'll see you in HELL July!!!

I have, like I assume many others, been bored out of my mind recently. Each night seems to be a fruitless hunt for something worthwhile to watch on TV. Each weekend day a constant fight to keep from drinking one’s self into unconsciousness before sundown. Why? Because it’s fucking July, that’s why. July is undoubtedly the most excruciatingly boring of any month of the year. Sure February sucks, what with the sudden absence of football and the deepening of winter’s grasp on us all but it could never, ever compare to the mind numbing boredom produced by July.

Honestly, I don’t mind February that much. I live in Florida so it’s never really “too cold” to go outside. Besides that, the college basketball season begins to heat up as conference races take shape and teams fight for spots upon the proverbial bubble. Hell, even NBA All-Star Weekend is a welcome sight for one who enjoys basketball (or any extremely bastardized version of such) as much as I. July, on the other hand, completely and totally sucks. After the patriotic debauchery of the 4th, what’s left? Not much as far as I’m concerned. Baseball is still a little too far away from the playoffs to inspire much excitement. Honestly, would anybody pay as much attention as they do to baseball if there were any sort of alternative sport to divert our collective attention? Highly doubtful. Don’t believe me? Take last year’s World Cup for example then. Despite soccer being, at best, a secondary sport in this country nearly everybody I knew took some level of interest in the goings on in Germany. Some people even “became” soccer fans as a result of last year’s World Cup (cough, Simmons, cough). So, I ask you, was last year’s World Cup so exciting that it finally opened the eyes of people across the country to the merits of “the beautiful game” or were sports fans so hard up for meaningful competition, of any sort, that they latched onto the closest thing they could find with neither apprehension nor trepidation?

You see, that’s what July does to sports fans. It bleeds us dry. Football (real football, not practice) is still over a month away, baseball is hitting the point of separation (where many fans officially, mercifully even, have zero hope of their franchise nabbing a playoff spot) and the NBA supplies little, save for a hodgepodge of rookies, has beens and never-will-bes running about in its various summer leagues. (Note: I love the Summer Leagues but realize I am in the extreme minority as many sports fans now refuse to even watch regular season NBA games, much less the retarded Panamanian step-child of the NBA: The Summer League). There’s just nothing out there this time of year to capture and hold my attention (and many others’) for anything longer than the average length of a youtube clip.

As I write this, I can practically hear some hippie telling me that I should be outside enjoying nature and basking in all its splendid glory rather than searching for reasons to stay glued to my couch. To that I say: Have you seen my couch? That, kind sir, is glorious. Why would I leave this thing just to go get all sweaty? It’s July for christ’s sake and it’s like 105 degrees outside. Go pick me some mushrooms and we’ll see about spending an afternoon outdoors with good ole Ma Nature. Until then, I’ll be planted on my glorious fucking couch playing NCAA ’08 until my thumbnails bleed.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Excuse me if I'm not overcome with excitement just yet

I've talked about the Rashard Lewis signing as much as Im going to at this point. It's the summer and I want to enjoy it. I'll start getting bitter about this again when the Magic trot out a starting frontline of Dwight, Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu come November. Well, that's not true. I'm bitter about it right now. But, I'm going to keep it to myself for the time being. We all know it was knee jerk reaction to having loads of cap space by the perenially overmatched slags in the Magic front office. Those who've followed the organizational history of this franchise expected as much.

So, for now, I'll leave Mr. Lewis alone and wish him luck in finding a nice new home in the Orlando area (which shouldn't be tough as I hear there are a few athletes who live in the area). The subject I'm most interested in today is the inspired summer league play of former collegiate player of the year JJ Redick. There's been much discussion about JJ's play of late and some experts seem to think that his statistics so far in summer league play indicate that he's due for a breakout season with the Magic. I am not one of these people. Would I love to see JJ Redick become a valuble and offensively potent member of this team? You bet your ass I would? The Magic haven't had a decent shooting guard since the last days of Penny "there's sand in my vagine" Hardaway. It's no secret that I was never in favor of the Magic selecting Redick. He was an extremely one dimensional player in college whose size and relative lack of athleticism didn't bode well for futher diversification of his game at the NBA level. Of course, Redick's back injury last summer made the transition to the pros even more taxing than expected and he struggled to even crack the rotation in his first year in Orlando.

With those struggles firmly embedded in Redick's psyche, he needed to play well in Summer League in order to restore some of his swagger and overall confidence in his game. With that in mind, its very encouraging to see Redick play so well up to this point. That's where the significance of his play ends as far as I'm concerned. Why? Well, here's a couple of reasons:

1. This isn't the Vegas Summer League. This is the Orlando Summer League. It's much smaller (6 teams as opposed to 22) and Redick's essentially playing home games as these games are being held in the Magic practice facility. As anybody who's ever played basketball will tell you, its a lot easier to shoot in environments you're comfortable in than in a foreign gym. I'd also venture to guess that it helps to sleep in your own bed each night as well.

2. It's the Summer League. The level of athleticism is a notch or two below that which Redick will be facing during the regular season. Getting you shot off against Robert Hite will be substantially easier than getting looks against Joe Johnson. Most of the guys who Redick is playing against right now are the same types of players he was able to light up at Duke. We already know waht he's capable of against this level of competition, its the high caliber NBA level defender whom I'm interested in seeing Redick score on.

3. Travis Diener. The Magic's third PG was the talk of this very same league last summer when he torched defenders to the tune of 20+ ppg. Of course, this breakout performance led to Diener being shackled to the bench for most of the year and logging more DNPs than guys like Mardy Collins and Sergio Rodriguez.

So, good job JJ. We're all very proud of you. Just don't go popping your collar just yet. You've got a long way to before you even come close to establishing yourself as a viable NBA scorer and erasing the memories of Trajan Langdon. A very long way.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Let's all meet up at The Max...

Ugh. I feared this day would soon be upon us. I tried to convince myself that the Orlando Magic had changed their collective ways. I even somehow rationalized that Otis Smith would operate differently than every other Magic GM to come before him, based on his previous NBA experience. Which is to say, he actually played basketball as opposed to predecessors like John Gabriel and (gulp) John Weisbrod. However, in my heart of hearts, I knew. I knew that the Magic wouldn't be able to sit on a ton of salary cap room without making the proverbial "big splash" in free agency, even with the promise of possibly the greatest free agent class ever looming on the horizon in 2008. Even though I knew all of this, I wasn't prepared to see the Magic sign a one dimensional player like Rashard Lewis to the a max contract. Yes, you read that right. The maximum contract allowable under NBA guidelines. For a player who's never been anything other than the second best player on his own team. Did I mention that said team has made the playoffs exactly once in the last 5 years? Umm, yeah...that too.

As if signing Lewis for 5 yrs./$85 million (banging head against desk) wasn't bad enough it looks as if the Magic won't be able to retain Darko Milicic as a result of this completely overpriced contract. Listen, I'm not in love with Darko's game. Hell, I'm not even making eyes at it at this point (give me a few drinks) but he is a young, skilled big man who fits well with the Orlando franchise, otherwise known as Dwight Howard. There's still hope that Darko can be retained by virtue of a sign and trade with Seattle but, frankly, I can't think of a single player on Orlando who would pique new Seattle GM Sam Presti's interest. Not unless the Sonics ae looking to cultivate their Puerto Rican fanbase through the acquisition of Carlos Arroyo.
I'm hoping I come around on this signing the more I think (and drink) about it over the next couple of days but right now it's awfully hard to figure out how the Magic have significantly improved their future by pinning their hopes to a 6'10" small forward who's never averaged over 7 rbs, 2.5 asts or even a measly 1 blk a game over the span of his nine year career. Sure, he's an upgrade over Hedo Turkoglu but the last time I checked, Hedo wasn't making anything near $17 million a year. At least I have another excuse to get bombed tonight.